The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still figuring out the direction of their franchise without future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, but fans continue to hold out hope that the 45-year-old could make an NFL comeback.
Rumors surrounding Brady have been nonstop since the seven-time Super Bowl champion decided to hang up his cleats for the second straight offseason. However, Brady cleared the air about any possible comeback when speaking with SI.com on Thursday, June 1.
“I’m certain I’m not playing again,” Brady told SI’s Robin Lundberg. “So I’ve tried to make that clear and I have to continue to profess that, because I’ve already told people that lots of times. But I’m looking forward to my broadcasting job at Fox next year. I’m looking forward to the opportunity ahead with the Raiders along with the other different things I’m a part of professionally and in my personal life.”
Buccaneers fans had hoped that Brady could announce a comeback like he did last season, especially given the way OTAs have started for Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask and John Wolford, the team’s current quarterbacks. A video from a May 23 practice showed Mayfield overthrowing his receiver and Trask throwing off the mark to his.
Rumors of Tom Brady Playing in Las Vegas
Despite Brady’s continuing to tell anyone and everyone that he isn’t making another NFL comeback, the rumors have no chance at slowing down.
More rumors surfaced after the May 22 AP News report that Brady was working to become a minority owner with the Las Vegas Raiders. The internet took this information and ran with it, especially after a TMZ report that the NFL owners could vote on a rule that would allow Brady to play while also owning a stake in the Raiders.
The Raiders could be in the market for another quarterback despite signing Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason. Brady’s former backup in New England is dealing with a foot injury that resulted in a failed physical when signing his deal with Las Vegas. Meanwhile, former Raiders starter Derek Carr signed a new deal with the New Orleans Saints, leaving the team with Brian Hoyer and rookie Aidan O’Connell as the likely backups.
If Garoppolo ends up not being healthy enough to play, then Raiders fans will be clamoring for the team to bring in one of their owners to make an NFL comeback and play under center.
Who Will Start for Tampa Bay?
With no sign of Brady walking through the door, the Buccaneers are heading toward a quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask.
Trask earned a strong vote of confidence from Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who sung his praises during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The former second-round pick has waited patiently behind Brady waiting for an opportunity, but now another veteran has been brought in to compete with him.
Mayfield had a disappointing end to his time with the Cleveland Browns before brief stints with the Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams in 2022. Unfortunately, the former No. 1 overall pick went just 2-8 in 10 starts for the two teams, struggling to put everything together.
While it’s not the flashiest competition, Buccaneers fans will be eagerly watching to see which of the two quarterbacks will be able to stand out in training camp and the preseason.